Books to read

Jump to:

Selected recent articles
Recent books
Books reviewed by the Scribbler
Books archive
Articles archive
Books to read
Reference books

Last Updated Friday November 16, 2018


Books to Read

Odessa Stories, Isaac Babel, LA Public Library. ''Everyone makes mistakes, even God.' In the original Odessa Stories collection published in 1931, Babel describes the life of the fictional Jewish mob boss Benya Krik - one of the great anti-heroes of Russian literature - and his gang in the ghetto of Moldavanka, around the time of the October Revolution. Praised by Maxim Gorky and considered one of the great masterpieces of twentieth-century Russian literature, this is the first ever stand-alone collection of all Babel's narratives set in the city, and includes the original stories as well as later tales.' Kindle. Currently-Reading 2018-11-16.

The Origins Of History, Herbert Butterfield, Weebcentral Library. 'Discusses the origins of history in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China, tracing its development from the Hebrew Scriptures, the concepts of the Greeks and early Christians, to the birth of modern historical criticism' Hardcover. Currently-Reading 2018-11-13.

The English And Their History, Tombs Robert, Multnomah County Library. My initial interest in this book was to read a good summary of the history of the English Civil War, from James I to William and Mary. I found Tombs' account to be brisk, clear and reasonably complete. I will be using this book as a reference on English history in the future. Kindle. Partially-Read 2018-10-30.

A Crack In Creation, Jennifer Doudna & Samuel Sternberg, Amazon Prime. 'A trailblazing biologist grapples with her role in the biggest scientific discovery of our era: a cheap, easy way of rewriting genetic code, with nearly limitless promise and peril. Not since the atomic bomb has a technology so alarmed its inventors that they warned the world about its use. Not, that is, until the spring of 2015, when biologist Jennifer Doudna called for a worldwide moratorium on the use of the new gene-editing tool CRISPR—a revolutionary new technology that she helped create—to make heritable changes in human embryos. The cheapest, simplest, most effective way of manipulating DNA ever known, CRISPR may well give us the cure to HIV, genetic diseases, and some cancers, and will help address the world’s hunger crisis. Yet even the tiniest changes to DNA could have myriad, unforeseeable consequences—to say nothing of the ethical and societal repercussions of intentionally mutating embryos to create “better” humans.' Kindle. Partially-Read 2018-10-06.

These Truths, Jill Lepore, Multnomah County Library. ''In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation. The American experiment rests on three ideas--'these truths,' Jefferson called them--political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. And it rests, too, 'on a dedication to inquiry, fearless and unflinching,' writes Jill Lepore in a groundbreaking investigation into the American past that places truth itself at the center of the nation's history. In riveting prose, These Truths tells the story of America, beginning in 1492, to ask whether the course of events has proven the nation's founding truths, or belied them. 'A nation born in contradiction, liberty in a land of slavery, sovereignty in a land of conquest, will fight, forever, over the meaning of its history,' Lepore writes, finding meaning in those very contradictions as she weaves American history into a majestic tapestry of faith and hope, of peril and prosperity, of technological progress and moral anguish. A spellbinding chronicle filled with arresting sketches of Americans from John Winthrop and Frederick Douglass to Pauli Murray and Phyllis Schlafly, These Truths offers an authoritative new history of a great, and greatly troubled, nation'--' Kindle. Partially-Read 2018-09-25.

The Future Is History, Masha Gessen, Weebcentral Library. 'Award-winning journalist Masha Gessen's understanding of the events and forces that have wracked Russia in recent times is unparalleled. In The Future Is History, Gessen follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each of them came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own--as entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers, sexual and social beings. ' Kindle. Partially-Read 2018-08-31. A gift from my brother-in-law, Greg, Christmas 2017.

Gene Machine, Venki Ramakrishnan, Weebcentral Library. 'Everyone has heard of DNA. But by itself, DNA is just an inert blueprint for life. It is the ribosome--an enormous molecular machine made up of a million atoms--that makes DNA come to life, turning our genetic code into proteins and therefore into us. Gene Machine is an insider account of the race for the structure of the ribosome, a fundamental discovery that both advances our knowledge of all life and could lead to the development of better antibiotics against life-threatening diseases. But this is also a human story of Ramakrishnan's unlikely journey, from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being the dark horse in a fierce competition with some of the world's best scientists. In the end, Gene Machine is a frank insider's account of the pursuit of high-stakes science. ' Kindle. To-Read

Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker, Multnomah County Library. 'Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data. In seventy-five graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature -- tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking -- which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. Pinker makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.' Kindle. To-Read

The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan, Multnomah County Library. 'In 1949, four Chinese women--drawn together by the shadow of their past--begin meeting in San Francisco to play mah jong, invest in stocks and 'say' stories. They call their gathering the Joy Luck Club--and forge a relationship that binds them for more than three decades. A celebrated novel in the tradition of Alice Adams and Margaret Atwood from the bestselling author of The Kitchen God's Wife.' Kindle. To-Read The Great American Read

Life On The Edge, JohnJoe McFadden, Jim Al-Khalili, Weebcentral Library. 'Life is the most extraordinary phenomenon in the known universe; but how did it come to be? Even in an age of cloning and artificial biology, the remarkable truth remains: nobody has ever made anything living entirely out of dead material. Life remains the only way to make life. Are we still missing a vital ingredient in its creation? Using first-hand experience at the cutting edge of science, Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe Macfadden reveal that missing ingredient to be quantum mechanics. Drawing on recent ground-breaking experiments around the world, each chapter in Life on the Edge illustrates one of life's puzzles: How do migrating birds know where to go? How do we really smell the scent of a rose? How do our genes copy themselves with such precision? Life on the Edge accessibly reveals how quantum mechanics can answer these probing questions of the universe.' Kindle. To-Read

Looking For Alaska, John Green, Multnomah County Library. 'Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .' Kindle. To-Read The Great American Read on PBS.

Our Declaration, Danielle S. Allen, Multnomah County Library. 'Allen makes the case that we cannot have freedom as individuals without equality among us as a people. Evoking the colonial world between 1774 and 1777, Allen describes the challenges faced by John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston--the 'Committee of Five' who had to write a document that reflected the aspirations of a restive population and forge an unprecedented social contract. Although the focus is usually on Jefferson, Allen restores credit not only to John Adams and Richard Henry Lee but also to clerk Timothy Matlack and printer Mary Katherine Goddard. Allen also restores the text of the Declaration itself. Its list of self-evident truths does not end with our individual right to the 'pursuit of happiness' but with the collective right of the people to reform government so that it will 'effect their Safety and Happiness.' The sentence laying out the self-evident truths leads us from the individual to the community--from our individual rights to what we can achieve only together, as a community constituted by bonds of equality.' Kindle. To-Read

The Meaning of Human Existence, Edward O. Wilson, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read

Charlotte's Web, E.B. White, Garth Williams, LA Public Library. 'Wilbur the pig is desolate when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmer's Christmas dinner until his spider friend, Charlotte decides to help him.' Kindle. To-Read Recommended by my Cindy.

The Stranger, Albert Camus, Weebcentral Library. 'Since it was first published in English, in 1946, Albert Camus's first novel, The Stranger (L'etranger), has had a profound impact on millions of American readers. Through this story of an ordinary man who unwittingly gets drawn into a senseless murder on a sun-drenched Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed 'the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.' Now, in an illuminating new American translation, extraordinary for its exactitude and clarity, the original intent of The Stranger is made more immediate. This haunting novel has been given a new life for generations to come.' Kindle. Read 1969-05-14.

The Meursault investigation, Kamel Daoud, Weebcentral Library. ''This response to Camus's The Stranger is at once a love story and a political manifesto about post-colonial Algeria, Islam, and the irrelevance of Arab lives. He was the brother of 'the Arab' killed by the infamous Meursault, the antihero of Camus's classic novel. Seventy years after that event, Harun, who has lived since childhood in the shadow of his sibling's memory, refuses to let him remain anonymous: he gives his brother a story and a name--Musa--and describes the events that led to Musa's casual murder on a dazzlingly sunny beach. Harun is an old man tormented by frustration. In a bar in Oran, night after night, he ruminates on his solitude, on his anger with men desperate for a god, and on his disarray when faced with a country that has so disappointed him. A stranger among his own people, he wants to be granted, finally, the right to die. The Stranger is of course central to Daoud's novel, in which he both endorses and criticizes one of the most famous novels in the world. A worthy complement to its great predecessor, The Mersault Investigation is not only a profound meditation on Arab identity and the disastrous effects of colonialism in Algeria, but also a stunning work of literature in its own right, told in a unique and affecting voice.'--' Kindle. To-Read

The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton, Multnomah County Library. 'When it was first published in 1967, The Outsiders defied convention with its immediate, deeply sympathetic portrayal of Ponyboy and his struggle to find a place for himself in a difficult world. Thirty years later, it speaks to teenagers as powerfully as ever.Puffin is proud to publish this contemorary classic for a new generation of readers. Praise for THE OUTSIDERS 'This remarkable novel gives a moving, credible view of the outsiders from the inside. . . we meet powerful characters in a book with a powerful message.' -- The Horn Book 'Taut with tension, filled with drama . . .' -- The Chicago Tribune' Kindle. To-Read The Great American Read on PBS.

Ghost, Jason Reynolds, Multnomah County Library. 'Ghost, a naturally talented runner and troublemaker, is recruited for the elite middle school track team. He must stay on track, literally and figuratively, to reach his full potential. {publisher summary}' Kindle. To-Read The Great American Read on PBS.

The Color Purple, Alice Walker, Multnomah County Library. 'Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to 'Mister,' a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.' Kindle. To-Read The Great American Read on PBS.

Gilead, Marilynne Robinson, Multnomah County Library. 'The 2004 Pulitzer Prize winning novelA 'New York Times 'Top-Ten Book of 2004Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction Nearly 25 years after 'Housekeeping,' Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations, from the Civil War to the 20th century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart. In the words of 'Kirkus,' it is a novel ' as big as a nation, as quiet as thought, and moving as prayer. Matchless and towering.' GILEAD tells the story of America and will break your heart.' Kindle. To-Read The Great American Read on PBS.

Hatchet, Gary Paulsen, Multnomah County Library. 'After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.' Kindle. To-Read The Great American Read on PBS.

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, LA Public Library. 'An aviator whose plane is forced down in the Sahara Desert encounters a little man from a small planet who describes his adventures in the universe seeking the secret of what is really important in life.' Kindle. To-Read The Great American Read on PBS.

The Other Solzhenitsyn, Daniel J. Mahoney, Weebcentral Library. A Solzhenitsyn scholar's making a case for the misunderstood author, who has been treated with relative contempt by Western intellectuals after first embracing him as an anti-Communist when his first works, such as One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich were published in the early 1960's. Hardcover. Partially-Read 2016-11-28. A gift from my wife Cindy

The Russian Question At The End Of The Twentieth Century, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Weebcentral Library. Solzhenitsyn's political point of view has been skewed in the West, many making him out to be an Slavophile and hard-core Russian Nationalist. Solzhenitsyn's Russian Question essay shows that his political understanding centered on his experience in the Soviet Union and his desire to see post-Soviet Russia to develop a political system that was better for its people. He was not a Slavophile. He was a Russian nationalist, but this work makes clear that his view of nationalism was a limited and healthy one. Hardcover. Partially-Read 2016-11-26.

The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings, 1947-2005, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Weebcentral Library. ''This reader, compiled by the distinguished Solzhenitsyn scholars Edward E. Ericson, Jr., and Daniel J. Mahoney with the cooperation of the Solzhenitsyn family, provides in one volume a rich and representative selection of Solzhenitsyn's voluminous works. Reproduced in their entirety are early poems, early and late short stories, early and late 'miniatures' (or prose poems), and many of Solzhenitsyn's famous - and not-so-famous - essays and speeches. The volume also includes excerpts from Solzhenitsyn's great novels, memoirs, books of political analysis and historical scholarship, and the literary and historical masterpieces The Gulag Archipelago and The Red Wheel. More than one-quarter of the material has never before appeared in English (the author's sons prepared many of the new translations themselves).'--BOOK JACKET.' Hardcover. Partially-Read 2016-01-16.

From Under The Rubble, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Weebcentral Library. Solzhenitsyn edited a set of essays on the state of the Soviet Union in 1975, after he was involuntarily exiled to the West. He authored several essays himself. These essays are still relevant to understanding the disconnect between many Western intellectuals and Solzhenitsyn. Hardcover. To-Read

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Project Gutenberg. 'Begun when the author was only eighteen and conceived from a nightmare, Frankenstein is the deeply disturbing story of a monstrous creation which has terrified and chilled readers since its first publication in 1818. The novel has thus seared its way into the popular imagination while establishing itself as one of the pioneering works of modern science fiction.' Kindle. To-Read The Great American Read.

Dark Sacred Night, Michael Connelly, Multnomah County Library. 'LAPD Detective Renée Ballard teams up with Harry Bosch in the new work of fiction from #1 NYT bestselling author Michael Connelly.Renée Ballard is working the night beat again, and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard kicks him out, but then checks into the case herself and it brings a deep tug of empathy and anger. Bosch is investigating the death of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally murdered and her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now, Ballard joins forces with Bosch to find out what happened to Daisy and finally bring her killer to justice.' Hardcover. To-Read

Christianity And History, Herbert Butterfield, Weebcentral Library. Hardcover. To-Read

Man On His Past, Butterfield Herbert, Amazon Wish List. 'This book is an extended version of the Wiles lectures given at the Queen's University, Belfast, in 1954. It illustrates the rise, scope, methods and objectives of the history of historiography. The topics selected for discussion give a general outline of the modern historical movement from the mid-eighteenth century to the contribution of Lord Acton in the late nineteenth century. Significant landmarks in the history of historical scholarship are examined to illustrate the various kinds of treatment that can be given to the subject.' Paperback. To-Read

Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction, Frank Close, Weebcentral Library. 'In Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction, best-selling author Frank Close provides a compelling and lively introduction to the fundamental particles that make up the universe. The book begins with a guide to what matter is made up of and how it evolved, and goes on to describe the fascinating and cutting-edge techniques used to study it. The author discusses particles such as quarks, electrons, and the neutrino, and exotic matter and antimatter. He also investigates the forces of nature, accelerators and detectors, and the intriguing future of particle physics. This book is essential reading for general readers interested in popular science, students of physics, and scientists at all levels.' Kindle. Partially-Read 2018-06-03.

Introducing Epigenetics: A Graphic Guide, Cath Ennis, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. Partially-Read 2017-09-10.

The Epigenetics Revolution, Nessa Carey, Multnomah County Library. 'Epigenetics can potentially revolutionize our understanding of the structure and behavior of biological life on Earth. It explains why mapping an organism's genetic code is not enough to determine how it develops or acts and shows how nurture combines with nature to engineer biological diversity.' Kindle. Partially-Read 2016-12-01.

The Genesis Of Science, James Hannam, Weebcentral Library. 'Maybe the Dark Ages Weren’t So Dark Afterall…Here are some facts you probably didn’t learn in school: People in the Middle Ages did not think the world was flat—in fact, medieval scholars could prove it wasn’tThe Inquisition never executed anyone because of their scientific ideas or discoveries (actually, the Church was the chief sponsor of scientific research and several popes were celebrated for their knowledge of the subject)It was medieval scientific discoveries, methods, and principles that made possible western civilization’s “Scientific Revolution”If you were taught that the Middle Ages were a time of intellectual stagnation, superstition, and ignorance, you were taught a myth that has been utterly refuted by modern scholarship.As a physicist and historian of science James Hannam shows in his brilliant new book, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, without the scholarship of the “barbaric” Middle Ages, modern science simply would not exist.The Middle Ages were a time of one intellectual triumph after another. As Dr. Hannam writes, “The people of medieval Europe invented spectacles, the mechanical clock, the windmill, and the blast furnace by themselves. Lenses and cameras, almost all kinds of machinery, and the industrial revolution itself all owe their origins to the forgotten inventors of the Middle Ages.”In The Genesis of Science you will discoverWhy the scientific accomplishments of the Middle Ages far surpassed those of the classical worldHow medieval craftsmen and scientists not only made discoveries of their own, but seized upon Eastern inventions—printing, gunpowder, and the compass—and improved them beyond the dreams of their originatorsHow Galileo’s notorious trial before the Inquisition was about politics, not scienceWhy the theology of the Catholic Church, far from being an impediment, led directly to the d' Kindle. To-Read

Assembling California, John McPhee, Multnomah County Library. 'At various times in a span of fifteen years, John McPhee made geological field surveys in the company of Eldridge Moores, a tectonicist at the University of California at Davis. The result of these trips is Assembling California, a cross-section in human and geologic time, from Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada through the golden foothills of the Mother Lode and across the Great Central Valley to the wine country of the Coast Ranges, the rock of San Francisco, and the San Andreas family of faults. The two disparate time scales occasionally intersect--in the gold disruptions of the nineteenth century no less than in the earthquakes of the twentieth--and always with relevance to a newly understood geologic history in which half a dozen large and separate pieces of country are seen to have drifted in from far and near to coalesce as California. McPhee and Moores also journeyed to remote mountains of Arizona and to Cyprus and northern Greece, where rock of the deep-ocean floor has been transported into continental settings, as it has in California. Global in scope and a delight to read, 'Assembling California' is a sweeping narrative of maps in motion, of evolving and dissolving lands. John McPhee is the author of more than 25 books, including 'Annals of the Former World,' for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction in 1999. He has been a staff writer at 'The New Yorker' since 1965 and lives in Princeton, New Jersey. McPhee's 'Encounters with the Archdruid' and 'The Curve of Binding Energy' were both nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science. At various times in a span of fifteen years, John McPhee made geological field trips in the company of Eldridge Moores, a tectonicist at the University of California at Davis. The result of these trips is 'Assembling California,' a cross-section in human and geologic time, from Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada through the golden foothills of the Mother Lode and across the Great Central Valley to the wi' Kindle. To-Read

Vietnam, Stanley Karnow, Clackamas County Library. 'A narrative that 'clarifies, analyses and demystifies the tragic ordeal of the Vietnam war'' Hardcover. To-Read

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick, Multnomah County Library. ''The most consistently brilliant science fiction writer in the world.'--John BrunnerTHE INSPIRATION FOR BLADERUNNER. . . Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was published in 1968. Grim and foreboding, even today it is a masterpiece ahead of its time.By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans.Emigrees to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn't want to be identified, they just blended in. Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.'[Dick] sees all the sparkling and terrifying possibilities. . . that other authors shy away from.'--Paul Williams Rolling Stone' Kindle. To-Read A gift from my parents and my sister Ruth, Christmas 2013.

Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad, Weebcentral Library. 'A young Englishman branded as a coward seeks personal redemption for an act of selfishness' Kindle. To-Read

The United States Constitution: What It Says, What It Means: A Hip Pocket Guide, JusticeLearning Org, Weebcentral Library. 'Affordable, readable, and indispensable,The United States Constitution: What it Says, What it Means allows you to put the most important document in American history in your back pocket. In conjunction with Justice Learning and The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands and with an introduction written by Caroline Kennedy and an afterword written by David Eisenhower, this pocket guide appeals to the broadest possible audience. Each Article and each Amendment is followed by a clear and concise explanation, in plain English, that is suitable for both middle and high school students. On December 8, 2004 President Bush officially signed Constitution Day into law. The law mandates that each year, on September 17th, schools and colleges that receive federal money are required to teach the Constitution. The new law was championed in Congress by Sen. Robert Byrd who famously carries around a copy of the document in his pocket. Sen. Byrd became increasingly alarmed at the lack of civics education-specifically relating to the Constitution-in our public schools and he wanted to take action. Lightweight, easy to use and easy for everyone to understand The United States Constitution: What it Says, What it Means is an excellent way for students and citizens of all ages to read and completely comprehend the building block of American democracy. Justice Learning (, is a comprehensive on-line resource that offers wide-ranging non-partisan materials relating to civics education.' Paperback. To-Read

Camel Xiangzi, Lao She, Shi Xiaojing, Kwok-Kan Tam, Amazon Wish List. Hardcover. To-Read Recommended by Britt Towery.

Asimov On Numbers, Isaac Asimov, Amazon Wish List. Paperback. To-Read

Asimov's Chronology Of Science And Discovery, Isaac Asimov, Amazon Wish List. Kindle. To-Read

The Risk Pool, Richard Russo, Multnomah County Library. 'A wonderfully funn and perceptive novel in the traditions of Thornton Wilder and Anne Tyler,The Risk Poolis set in Mohawk, New York, where Ned Hall is doing his best to grow up, even though neither of his estranged parents can properly be called adult. His father, Sam, cultivates bad habits so assiduously that he is stuck at the bottom of his auto insurance risk pool. His mother, Jenny, is slowly going crazy from resentment at a husband who refuses either to stay or to stay away. As Ned veers between allegiances to these grossly inadequate role models, Richard Russo gives us a book that overflows with outsized characters and outlandish predicaments and whose vision of family is at once irreverent and unexpectedly moving.' Kindle. To-Read A Recommendation from Sam Wilson-Moses.

The Youngest Science, Thomas Lewis, Amazon Wish List. Kindle. To-Read

The Brothers K, David James Duncan, Multnomah County Library. 'This touching, uplifting novel spans decades of loyalty, anger, regret, and love in the lives of the Chance family. A father whose dreams of glory on a baseball field are shattered by a mill accident. A mother who clings obsessively to religion as a ward against the darkest hour of her past. Four brothers who come of age during the seismic upheavals of the sixties and who each choose their own way to deal with what the world has become.' Kindle. To-Read A Recommendation from my friend David Wilson.

King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, Adam Hochschild, Multnomah County Library. Kindle. To-Read Recommended by Bonny Tennant.

Freeman, Leonard Pitts, Clackamas County Library. '''At the end of the Civil War, an escaped slave first returns to his old plantation and then walks across the ravaged South in search of his lost wife'--Provided by the publisher'--' Hardcover. To-Read

Truth: Philosophy in Transit, John D. Caputo, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read

Those who have borne the battle, Wright James Edward, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read A gift from my brother-in-law, Scottie.

It Can't Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis, Project Gutenberg. 'It Can't Happen Here is the only one of Sinclair Lewis’s later novels to match the power of Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith. A cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, it is an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America. Written during the Great Depression, when the country was largely oblivious to Hitler's aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a president who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, sex, crime, and a liberal press. ' Kindle. To-Read

Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read

Nigger Of The Narcissus, Joseph Conrad, Weebcentral Library. 'The Nigger Of The 'Narcissus', Published In 1897, Is Widely Regarded As The Finest And The Strongest Picture Of The Sea And Sea Life That The English Language Possesses. Framed Around A Sea Voyage From Bombay To London, The Action Concentrates On The Human Community Of The Ship, The Narcissus. The Tensions Within The Small Number Of Crew Are As Perilous As The Weather Itself, And Are Created By Two Different Generations Of Seamen. Captain Alistoun And The Veteran Singleton Have The Reticence Of Men Primarily Concerned With Their Duties As Seamen. In Contrast, The Detachment From The Working Community Of The Younger Donkin, A Compulsive Troublemaker, And James Wait, The 'Nigger' Of The Title, Comes To Represent A Powerful, If Less Practical, Set Of Interests. During A Ferocious Gale Wait Has To Be Rescued From The Sickbed; And In The Ensuing Calm Donkin Tries Unsuccessfully To Incite The Crew To Mutiny. Finally, As Predicted By Singleton, 'The Oldest Able Seamen In The Ship', Wait Dies, The Wind Rises, And The Narcissus Is Able To Dock In London. The Novel Is Conrad'S First Major Exploration Of The Psychology Of Service Of Seamen.' Kindle. To-Read A gift from my brother-in-law, Greg, for Christmas 2017.

Asimov's Chronology Of The World, Isaac Asimov, Amazon Wish List. Paperback. To-Read

How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, Chad Orzel, Clackamas County Library. 'When physics professor Chad Orzel went to the pound to adopt a dog, he never imagined Emmy. She wasn't just a friendly mutt who needed a home. Soon she was trying to use the strange ideas of quantum mechanics for the really important things in her life: chasing critters, getting treats, and going for walks. She peppered Chad with questions: Could she use quantum tunneling to get through the neighbor's fence and chase bunnies? What about quantum teleportation to catch squirrels before they climb out of reach? Where are all the universes in which Chad drops steak on the floor?With great humor and clarity, Chad Orzel explains to Emmy, and to human readers, just what quantum mechanics is and how it worksand why, although you can't use it to catch squirrels or eat steak, it's still bizarre, amazing, and important to every dog and human.' Paperback. To-Read

Walker's Appeal, Henry Highland Garnet, David Walker, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read

November 1916: The Red Wheel / Knot II, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Weebcentral Library. 'The month of November 1916 in Russia was outwardly unmarked by seismic events, but beneath the surface, society seethed fiercely. In Petrograd, luxury-store windows are still brightly lit; the Duma debates the monarchy, the course of war, and clashing paths to reform; the workers in the miserable munitions factories veer increasingly toward sedition. At the front all is stalemate except for sudden death's capricious visits, while in the countryside sullen anxiety among hard-pressed farmers is rapidly replacing patriotism. In Zurich, Lenin, with the smallest of all revolutionary groups, plots his sinister logistical miracle. With masterly and moving empathy, through the eyes of both historical and fictional protagonists, Solzhenitsyn unforgettably transports us to that time and place--the last of pre-Soviet Russia.' Paperback. To-Read

Egypt, Greece, And Rome, Charles Freeman, Clackamas County Library. 'This is a comprehensive, one-volume introduction to the three major civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean world: Eygpt, Greece, and Rome. It covers over 4000 years of ancient history - from the earliest Egyptian civilizations to the fall of Rome and rise of the Byzantine Empire. Starting with the emergence of the earliest Eygptian civilization around 3500 BC, the book goes on to span over four millennia - to beyond the fall of the Roman Empire in the west in AD 600 and the rise of the Byzantine Empire in the east. It includes a chapter on the civilization of the Ancient Near East, as well as less well-known cultures such as the Etruscans, Celts, Parthians, and Phoenicians/Carthaginians. The book covers every aspect of the life and times of these peoples - from politics, art, literature, and culture in general to the social, economic, and political background. It explores the many deep links and influences operating between cultures - revealing a picture of how and why Mediterranean culture developed as a whole.' Hardcover. To-Read

The Dream of Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Philosophy, Anthony Gottlieb, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read Gift from Jon and Amanda

The Age of Revolution: 1749-1848, Eric J. Hobsbawm, Clackamas County Library. 'This magisterial volume follows the death of ancient traditions, the triumph of new classes, and the emergence of new technologies, sciences, and ideologies, with vast intellectual daring and aphoristic elegance. Part of Eric Hobsbawm's epic four-volume history of the modern world, along with The Age of Capitalism, The Age of Empire, and The Age of Extremes.' Paperback. To-Read

Peace Shall Destroy Many, Rudy Wiebe, Weebcentral Library. 'In 1944, as war rages across Europe and Asia, famine, violence and fear are commonplace. But life appears tranquil in the isolated farming settlement of Wapiti in northern Saskatchewan, where the Mennonite community continues the agricultural lifestyle their ancestors have practised for centuries. Their Christian values of peace and love lead them to oppose war and military service, so they are hardly affected by the war – except for the fact that they are reaping the rewards of selling their increasingly valuable crops and livestock.Thom Wiens, a young farmer and earnest Christian, begins to ask questions. How can they claim to oppose the war when their livestock become meat to sustain soldiers? How can they enjoy this free country but rely on others to fight to preserve that freedom? Within the community, conflicts and broken relationships threaten the peace, as the Mennonite tradition of close community life manifests itself as racism toward their “half-breed” neighbours, and aspirations of holiness turn into condemnation of others. Perhaps the greatest hope for the future lies with children such as Hal Wiens, whose friendship with the Métis children and appreciation of the natural environment offer a positive vision of people living at peace with themselves and others.Wiebe’s groundbreaking first novel aroused great controversy among Mennonite communities when it was first published in 1962. Wiebe explains, “I guess it was a kind of bombshell because it was the first realistic novel ever written about Mennonites in western Canada. A lot of people had no clue how to read it. They got angry. I was talking from the inside and exposing things that shouldn't be exposed.” At the same time, other reviewers were unsure how to react to Wiebe’s explicitly religious themes, a view which Wiebe found absurd. “There are many, many people who feel that religious experience is the most vital thing that happens to them in thei' Paperback. To-Read

The Ghost Writer, Philip Roth, New Yorker Archive. Some think this is Roth's best novel, in part because of the editing. Published in full in the New Yorker in the June 25 and July 2, 1979 periodicals. eBook. To-Read

Strom Thurmond's America, Joseph Crespino, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read A gift from my brother-in-law, Scottie.

Poetics (Dover Thrift), Aristotle, Weebcentral Library. 'Among the most influential books in Western civilization, the 'Poetics' is really a treatise on fine art. It offers seminal ideas on the nature of drama, tragedy, poetry, music and more, including such concepts as catharsis, the tragic flaw, unities of time and place and other rules of drama. This inexpensive edition enables readers to enjoy the critical insights of one humanity's greatest minds laying the foundations for thought about the arts.' Kindle. To-Read Recommended by Charles Van Doren in his Joy of Reading, p. 54.

The Daily Show: An Oral History, Chris Smith, Jon Stewart, Weebcentral Library. ''For almost seventeen years, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart brilliantly redefined the borders between television comedy, political satire, and opinionated news coverage. It launched the careers of some of today's most significant comedians, highlighted the hypocrisies of the powerful, and garnered 23 Emmys. Now the show's behind-the-scenes gags, controversies, and camaraderie are chronicled by the players themselves.'' Kindle. Partially-Read 2017-01-01. A gift from my Jon and Amanda, Christmas 2017.

Quantum Theory: A Graphic Guide To Science's Most Puzzling Discovery (Introducing...), J.P. McEvoy, Oscar Zarate, Amazon Prime. 'A step by step tour of a notoriously difficult subject, tackling the puzzle of wave duality and the famous questions raised by Bohr's 'Copenhagen Interpretation'. Scientific discoveries of the earliest 20th century destroyed assumptions about basic physics laws. At subatomic level things work very differently, one particle seems to know what others are doing, limiting how accurately nature can be observed. Yet quantum theory explanations are widely applied and very accurate.' Kindle. Partially-Read 2018-04-25.

Where The Water Goes, David Owen, Multnomah County Library. 'A brilliant, eye-opening account of where our water comes from and where it all goes The Colorado River is a crucial resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado's headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.–Mexico border where the river runs dry. Water problems in the western United States can seem tantalizingly easy to solve: just turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and kill all the lawyers. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on. The story Owen tells in Where the Water Goes is crucial to our future: how a patchwork of engineering marvels, byzantine legal agreements, aging infrastructure, and neighborly cooperation enables life to flourish in the desert, and the disastrous consequences we face when any part of this tenuous system fails.' Kindle. To-Read Highly recommended by my sister-in-law Bonnie.

A Short History Of The United States, Robert V. Remini, Weebcentral Library. 'In A Short History of the United States, National Book Award winner Robert V. Remini offers a much-needed, concise history of our country. This accessible and lively volume contains the essential facts about the discovery, settlement, growth, and development of the American nation and its institutions, including the arrival and migration of Native Americans, the founding of a republic under the Constitution, the emergence of the United States as a world power, the outbreak of terrorism here and abroad, the Obama presidency, and everything in between.' Kindle. To-Read A gift from my Jon and Amanda

The Serpent Of Venice, Christopher Moore, Multnomah County Library. 'Venice, a really long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from Britain who also happens to be a favourite of the Doge: the rascal-Fool Pocket. This trio of cunning plotters – the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Montressor Brabantio; and the naval officer Iago – have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising a spirited evening with a rare Amontillado sherry and a fetching young noblewoman. Their invitation is, of course, bogus. The wine is drugged: the girl is nowhere in sight. These scoundrels have something far less amusing planned for the man who has consistently foiled their quest for power and wealth. But this Fool is no fool . . . and the story is only beginning. Once again, Christopher Moore delivers a rousing literary satire, a dramedy mash-up rich with delights, including (but not limited to): foul plots, counterplots, true love, jealousy, murder, betrayal, revenge, codpieces, three mysterious locked boxes, a boatload of gold, a pound of flesh, occasional debauchery, and water (lots of water). Not to mention a cast Shakespeare himself would be proud of: Shylock, Iago; Othello; a bunch of other guys whose names end in “o”; a trio of comely wenches – Desdemona, Jessica, Portia; the brilliant Fool; his large sidekick, Drool; Jeff the pet monkey; a lovesick sea serpent; and a ghost (yes, there’s always a bloody ghost). Wickedly witty and outrageously inventive, THE SERPENT OF VENICE pays cheeky homage to the Bard and illuminates the absurdity of the human condition as only Christopher Moore can. (-book jacket)' Kindle. To-Read Recommended by my brother Craig and Bob Burns

The autistic brain, Temple Grandin, Weebcentral Library. ''A cutting-edge account of the latest science of autism, from the best-selling author and advocate Temple Grandin is a star, a Time Magazine top 100 Hero and an inspiration to millions worldwide. Since she started writing and speaking about autism, the number of people diagnosed with it has skyrocketed--but so has the research that is transforming our understanding of the autistic brain. Now she brings her singular perspective to a thrilling journey through the autism revolution. Weaving her own experience with remarkable new discoveries, she introduces the neuroimaging advances and genetic research that link brain science to behavior, even sharing her own brain scans from numerous studies. We meet the scientists and self-advocates who are introducing innovative theories of what causes, how we diagnose, and how best to treat autism. She highlights long-ignored sensory problems and the treatments that might help them, and warns of the dangers of politics defining the diagnosis of autism spectrum. Most exciting, in the science that has begun to reveal the long-overlooked strengths conferred by autism, she finds a route to more effective mainstreaming and a way to unleash the unique advantages of autistic people. From the 'aspies' in Silicon Valley to the five-year-old without language, Grandin understands the true meaning of the word spectrum. The Autistic Brain is essential reading from the most respected and beloved voices in the field'--' Kindle. To-Read A gift from my son Jon, on the occasion of Father's Day.

Who We Are And How We Got Here, David Reich, Multnomah County Library. 'Massive technological innovations now allow scientists to extract and analyze ancient DNA as never before, and it has become clear—in part from David Reich's own contributions to the field—that genomics is as important a means of understanding the human past as archeology, linguistics, and the written word. In Who We Are and How We Got Here, Reich describes with unprecedented clarity just how the human genome provides not only all the information that a fertilized human egg needs to develop but also contains within it the history of our species. He explains how the genomic revolution and ancient DNA are transforming our understanding of the lineage of modern humans and how DNA studies reveal the deep history of inequality—among different populations, between the sexes, and among individuals within a population. His book gives the lie to the orthodoxy that there are no meaningful biological differences among human populations, and at the same time uses the definitive evidence provided by genomics to show that the differences that do exist are unlikely to conform to familiar stereotypes.' Hardcover. To-Read

Why Learn History (When It's Already On Your Phone), Samuel S. Wineburg, Amazon Wish List. 'Today's students might be 'digital natives,' but that doesn’t make them responsible consumers of digital information. . . . According to Wineburg, the issue is not that students are ignorant of names and dates. In fact, as he points out, even the most accomplished specialists in the discipline could flunk a multiple-choice test on an area of history they are unfamiliar with. It’s more of a tragedy, he argues, that students are made to memorize facts instead of learning the critical-thinking skills that equip their minds to discern context, sniff out biases, and employ reasoned skepticism when evaluating sources. . . . Confronting the reality that even professional historians can make mistakes reading sources on the internet, Why Learn History provides clear advice to history teachers about what they can do to improve digital media literacy.' Kindle. To-Read

The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde, LA Public Library. 'Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life; indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' was a succes de scandale. Early readers were shocked by its hints at unspeakable sins, and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895. This definitive edition includes a selection of contemporary reviews condemning the novel’s immorality, and a preface by Peter Ackroyd.' Kindle. To-Read The Great American Read on PBS.

James Madison: The American Presidents, Garry Wills, Weebcentral Library. 'A bestselling historian examines the life of a Founding Father. Renowned historian and social commentator Garry Wills takes a fresh look at the life of James Madison, from his rise to prominence in the colonies through his role in the creation of the Articles of Confederation and the first Constitutional Congress. Madison oversaw the first foreign war under the constitution, and was forced to adjust some expectations he had formed while drafting that document. Not temperamentally suited to be a wartime President, Madison nonetheless confronted issues such as public morale, internal security, relations with Congress, and the independence of the military. Wills traces Madison's later life during which, like many recent Presidents, he enjoyed greater popularity than while in office.' Hardcover. To-Read

Mathematics An Illustrated History Of Numbers, Tom Jackson, Multnomah County Library. 'Legend has it that the first magic square, where all lines and diagonals add up to the same figure, was revealed more than 2,000 years ago when a river turtle appeared to have ancient Chinese numerals inscribed on sections of its shell. Patterns are everywhere in nature, and counting, measuring, and calculating changes are as old as civilization itself, as are many of the theorems and laws of math. The Pythagorean Theorem was used to plot out fields for planting crops before the ancient Greek Pythagoras was even born, but the story begins long before that, with tally marks on rock and bone surviving from the Stone Age. Here is the essential guide to mathematics, an authoritative reference book and timeline that explores the work of history s greatest mathematicians. From the teasing genius of Pierre de Fermat, who said he knew the answers but rarely gave them up, to the fractal pattern discovered by Waclaw Sierpinski now used to plan the route a mailman takes, here are 100 landmark moments in this intensely rigorous discipline, seen through the eyes of the people who lived them. Glimpse the abstract landscape of infinite numbers and multi-dimensional shapes as you learn about the most famous math men of all. Pythagoras had a love of numbers so strong it led to a violent death. Then there is Fibonacci, whose guide for bookkeepers changed the way we add and Descartes, who took inspiration from a fly to convert numbers into shapes and back again, changing math forever. Over many centuries, great minds puzzled over the evidence and, step-by-step, edged ever closer to the truth. Behind every one of these breakthrough moments there s a story about a confounding puzzle that became a discovery and changed the way we see the world. Here are one hundred of the most significant and we call these Ponderables. In Mathematics: An Illustrated History of Numbers, you ll get a peak into the Imponderables, too, the mysteries yet to be solved that will one day lead great thinkers forw' Hardcover. To-Read

Another Country, James Baldwin, LA Public Library. 'Set in Greenwich Village, Harlem, and France, among other locales, Another Country is a novel of passions--sexual, racial, political, artistic--that is stunning for its emotional intensity and haunting sensuality, depicting men and women, blacks and whites, stripped of their masks of gender and race by love and hatred at the most elemental and sublime.' Kindle. To-Read The Great American Read on PBS.

Sorrow Of War, The: A Novel Of North Vietnam, Bao Ninh, Multnomah County Library. 'A North Vietnamese man, Kien, narrates his memories of his youth, the pains of adolescence, his experience of the war, and his attempts, as a struggling writer in postwar Hanoi, to cope with the horrors of war and his own survival. 17,500 first printing.' Kindle. To-Read Learned of Bao Ninh from Ken Burn's Vietnam series

The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen, LA Public Library. Kindle. To-Read

Small Boat of Great Sorrows, Dan Fesperman, Dan Esperman, Clackamas County Library. 'Vlado Petric, a former homicide detective in Sarajevo, is now living in exile, and making a meagre living working at a Berlin construction site, when an American investigator for the International War Crimes Tribunal recruits him to return home on a mission. The assignment sounds simple enough. He is to help capture an aging Nazi collaborator who has become a war profiteer. But nothing is simple in the Balkans: Petric is also being used as bait to lure his quarry into the open, and when the operation goes sour he is drawn across Europe into a dangerous labyrinth of secret identities, stolen gold, and horrifying discoveries about his own family's past. Intelligent and suspenseful,The Small Boat of Great Sorrowsbrings together chilling crimes, the lies people live and the cold facts of international politics into a masterful, electrifying thriller.' Hardcover. To-Read

Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card, Multnomah County Library. 'Winer of the Hugo and Nebula AwardsIn order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.' Kindle. To-Read

A Confederacy Of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole, LA Public Library. '
The best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning classic hailed by The New York Times Book Review as 'a masterwork . . . the novel astonishes with its inventiveness . . . it is nothing less than a grand comic fugue.' A Confederacy of Dunces is an American comic masterpiece. John Kennedy Toole's hero, one Ignatius J. Reilly, is 'huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter. His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans' lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures' (Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times).
' Kindle. To-Read The Great American Read on PBS.

Data And Goliath, Bruce Schneier, LA Public Library. 'Your cell phone provider tracks your location and knows who's with you. Your online and in-store purchasing patterns are recorded, and reveal if you're unemployed, sick, or pregnant. Your e-mails and texts expose your intimate and casual friends. Google knows what you're thinking because it saves your private searches. Facebook can determine your sexual orientation without you ever mentioning it. The powers that surveil us do more than simply store this information. Corporations use surveillance to manipulate not only the news articles and advertisements we each see, but also the prices we're offered. Governments use surveillance to discriminate, censor, and chill free speech, and put people in danger worldwide. And both sides share this information with each other or, even worse, lose it to cybercriminals in huge data breaches. Much of this is voluntary: we cooperate with corporate surveillance because it promises us convenience, and we submit to government surveillance because it promises us protection. The result is a mass surveillance society of our own making. But have we given up more than we've gained? Security expert Bruce Schneier offers another path, one that values both security and privacy. He shows us what we can do to reform our government surveillance programs and shake up surveillance-based business models, while also providing tips for you to protect your privacy every day.' Kindle. To-Read

Meditations In Green, Stephen Wright, Clackamas County Library. 'James Griffin finds himself profoundly affected by his experiences in Vietnam as he evolves from a clear-eyed, hard-working soldier to an unstrung, lethargic, and cynical drug addict with profound difficulties in adjusting to civilian life' Hardcover. To-Read

Art: A Crash Course, Julian Freeman, Weebcentral Library. 'Art - A Crash Course is designed for the armchair aficionado with artistic longings, those of us who know what we like but can't put a name on it. It's a briskly written fact-packed history of Western art with all the tedious research done for you, techniques explained in foolproof terms, and a handy timeline. Read this and you will never again confuse your impressionists with your expressionists, your fresco with your mural, or your Millais with your Millet. And you can open your mouth with confidence, as Art a Crash Course contains a unique pronunciation guide.' Hardcover. Read 2016-01-30.

Under African Skies: Modern African Stories, Charles R. Larson, Weebcentral Library. 'Spanning a wide geographical range, this collection features many of the now prominent first generation of African writers and draws attention to a new generation of writers. Powerful, intriguing and essentially non-Western, these stories will be welcome by an audience truly ready for multicultural voices.' Paperback. To-Read

Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction, Eric Foner, Weebcentral Library. 'From one of our most distinguished historians comes a groundbreaking new examination of the myths and realities of the period after the Civil War.Drawing on a wide range of long-neglected documents, Eric Foner places a new emphasis on black experiences and roles during the era. We see African Americans as active agents in overthrowing slavery, in shaping Reconstruction, and creating a legacy long obscured and misunderstood. He compellingly refutes long-standing misconceptions of Reconstruction, and shows how the failures of the time sowed the seeds of the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950s and 60s. Richly illustrated and movingly written, this is an illuminating and essential addition to our understanding of this momentous era.' Kindle. To-Read

The Origins Of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama, Weebcentral Library. 'Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their citizens. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s developing countries—with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.In The Origins of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama, author of the bestselling The End of History and the Last Man, provides a sweeping account of how today’s basic political institutions developed. The first of a major two-volume work begins with politics among our primate ancestors and follows the story through the emergence of tribal societies, the growth of the first modern state in China, the beginning of a rule of law in India and the Middle East, and the development of political accountability in Europe up until the eve of the French Revolution.Drawing on a vast body of knowledge—history, evolutionary biology, archaeology, and economics—Fukuyama has produced a brilliant, provocative work that offers fresh insights on the origins of democratic societies and raises essential questions about the nature of politics.' Kindle. To-Read

The Boys In The Boat, Daniel J. Brown, Weebcentral Library. 'The #1 New York Times–bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant. It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.' Paperback. To-Read Recommended by my friend Sue Williams

Gratitude, Sacks Oliver, Weebcentral Library. ''In July 2013, Oliver Sacks turned eighty and wrote [a] ... piece in The New York Times about the prospect of old age and the freedom he envisioned for himself in binding together the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime. Eighteen months later, he was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer--which he announced publicly in another piece in The New York Times. Gratitude is Sacks's meditation on why life [continued] to enthrall him even as he [faced] the all-too-close presence of his own death, and how to live out the months that [remained] in the richest and deepest way possible'--' Hardcover. To-Read

Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality (Vintage), Pauline W. Chen, Weebcentral Library. 'A brilliant transplant surgeon brings compassion and narrative drama to the fearful reality that every doctor must face: the inevitability of mortality.When Pauline Chen began medical school, she dreamed of saving lives. What she could not predict was how much death would be a part of her work. Almost immediately, she found herself wrestling with medicine’s most profound paradox–that a profession premised on caring for the ill also systematically depersonalizes dying. Final Exam follows Chen over the course of her education and practice as she struggles to reconcile the lessons of her training with her innate sense of empathy and humanity. A superb addition to the best medical literature of our time.' Paperback. To-Read

Home Land: A Novel, Sam Lipsyte, LA Public Library. ''Genius. As eloquent and delirious a rant I've heard since Henry Miller was doing the ranting. Sam Lipsyte has the best male gaze in town and when he turns that gaze inwards I start to understand how we got to be where we are today, as a country and as a people.'---Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook What if somebody finally wrote to his high school alumni bulletin and told...the truth! Here is an update from hell, and the most brilliant work to date, by the novelist whom Jeffrey Eugenides calls 'original, devious, and very funny' and of whose first novel Chuck Palahniuk wrote, 'I laughed out loud---and I never laugh out loud.' The Eastern Valley High School Alumni newsletter, Catamount Notes, is bursting with tales of success: former students include a bankable politician and a famous baseball star, not to mention a major-label recording artist. Then there is the appalling, yet utterly lovable, Lewis Miner, class of '89---a.k.a Teabag---who did not pan out. This is his confession in all its bitter, lovelorn glory. 'Lipsyte's vision of our collective existence is so accurately skewed, there is no escaping the delirious---and beautifully disturbing---shock of recognition. Writing this deep is rare enough---writing this deep and this hysterical pretty much didn't exist until Lipsyte began pouring it onto the page.'--Jerry Stahl, author of 'I, Fatty''Lipsyte is playful and lewd, bleak and farcical, walking a fine line between near-glib humour and a genuine existential fear one could even call Beckettian. . . . Sam Lipsyte can really write.'--Aida Edamariam, 'The Guardian''Sam Lipsyte has got balls the size of watermelons. He's ripped the piss out of his Yank countrymen so much that he gets published here in the UK first. He's one wicked sod. You'll love it.'--'Lads' Sam Lipsyte was born in 1968. He is the author of the story collection' Venus Drive' (named one of the top twenty-five books of its year by the Voice Literary Supplement) and the nov' Kindle. To-Read

Matterhorn, Karl Marlantes, Multnomah County Library. 'Young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood. Standing in their way are not merely the North Vietnamese but also monsoon rain and mud, leeches and tigers, disease and malnutrition. Almost as daunting, it turns out, are the obstacles they discover between each other: racial tension, competing ambitions, and duplicitous superior officers. But when the company finds itself surrounded and outnumbered by a massive enemy regiment, the Marines are thrust into the raw and all-consuming terror of combat. The experience will change them forever.' Kindle. To-Read

The Guns of August, Barbara W. Tuchman, Weebcentral Library. 'A definitive Pulitzer Prize-winning recreation of the powderkeg that was Europe during the crucial first thirty days of World War I traces the actions of statesmen and patriots alike in Berlin, London, St. Petersburg, and Paris. Reprint.' Paperback. To-Read

Flashman And The Dragon, George MacDonald Fraser, Multnomah County Library. 'It is 1860, and while China seethes through the bloodiest civil war in history, and the British and French armies hack their way to the heart of the Forbidden City, Harry Flashman hoodwinks them all. Once again, that supreme anti-hero of the Victorian era, the one and only Harry Flashman, is ready to rise to the occasion no matter what depths of dishonor he must plumb. Lusting after a clergyman's wife, smuggling opium to Hong Kong, coupling with an Amazonian woman river pirate, groveling before a ruthless warlord, becoming the sexual plaything of the most beautiful and evil woman in the world, and cheerfully participating in yet another British rape of an ancient culture, this is the inimitable Flashman at his very worst. And, as all Flashman fans know, that means he's at his irresistible best in this, his most exotic and erotic, uninhibited and hilarious adventure yet.' Kindle. To-Read Recommended by my brother Craig and Peter Hitchens

The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, Multnomah County Library. 'The Grapes of Wrath is a landmark of American literature. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man's fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman's stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. First published in 1939, The Grapes of Wrath summed up its era in the way that Uncle Tom's Cabin summed up the years of slavery before the Civil War. Sensitive to fascist and communist criticism, Steinbeck insisted that: The Battle Hymn of the Republic be printed in its entirety in the first edition of the book-which takes its title from the first verse: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck's fictional chronicle of the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930's is perhaps the most American of American Classics.' Kindle. To-Read

On the Shoulders of Giants: A Shandean Postscript, Robert K. Merton, Weebcentral Library. Paperback. To-Read

Common Sense (Penguin Great Ideas), Thomas Paine, Weebcentral Library. ''When Common Sense was published in January 1776, it sold, by some estimates, a stunning 150,000 copies in the colonies. What exactly made this pamphlet so appealing? This is a question not only about the state of mind of Paine's audience, but also about the role of public opinion and debate, the function of the press, and the shape of political culture in the colonies.' 'The Broadview edition of Paine's famous pamphlet attempts to reconstruct the context in which it appeared and to recapture the energy and passion of the dispute over the political future of the British colonies in North America. Included along with the text of Common Sense are some of the contemporary arguments for and against the Revolution by John Dickinson, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson; materials from the debate that followed the pamphlet's publication showing the difficulty of the choices facing the colonists; the Declaration of Independence; and the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776.'--BOOK JACKET.' Hardcover. To-Read

The education of a true believer, Kopelev Lev, Amazon Wish List. Autobiography of the person upon whom Solzhenitsyn modelled the Rubin character, the brilliant linguist and ironically committed Communist somewhat reminiscent of Koestler's discarded intellectuals in Darkness at Noon , in his novel In the First Circle. Hardcover. To-Read

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman: Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (Penguin Classics), Laurence Sterne, Weebcentral Library. 'New ed. / edited by Melvyn and Joan New / with a critical introduction by Melvyn New.' Paperback. To-Read

From Slavery To Freedom, John Hope Franklin, Clackamas County Library. Hardcover. To-Read

The Life And Times Of Chaucer, John Gardner, Weebcentral Library. 'Reconstructs the life and historical period of the great fourteenth-century poet, combining the scholar's research and the novelist's concernsin an account of Chaucer's education, government service, and poetic development.' Hardback. To-Read

Waiting for the Barbarians, J.M. Coetzee, Weebcentral Library. 'Set in an isolated outpost on the edge of a great Empire, WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS is a startling allegory of the war between oppressor and oppressed. The Magistrate, the novel's fascinating narrator, has been a loyal servant of the Empire, running the affairs of the frontier settlement, dabbling in antiquarianism, and ignoring constant reports of a threat from the 'barbarians' who inhabit the uncharted deserts beyond the village. But when military personnel arrive with captured barbarians, he becomes witness to a cruel and unjust defense of the Empire. Outraged and, with military command controlling his village, powerless to prevent the persecution of the barbarians, he finds himself involved in an affair with one of the victims, a girl crippled, blinded, and orphaned by the torturers. Their relationship, intimate but devoid of true understanding, finally pushes him to a quixotic act of rebellion that brands him an enemy of the state. Rendered in an austere but richly suggestive prose, Coetzee's novel addresses universal political and philosophical issues of power and justice.' Paperback. To-Read

A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962 (New York Review Books Classics), Alistair Horne, Weebcentral Library. 'The Algerian War lasted from 1954 to 1962. It brought down six French governments, led to the collapse of the Fourth Republic, returned de Gaulle to power, and came close to provoking a civil war on French soil. More than a million Muslim Algerians died in the conflict and as many European settlers were driven into exile. Above all, the war was marked by an unholy marriage of revolutionary terror and repressive torture.Nearly a half century has passed since this savagely fought war ended in Algeria’s independence, and yet—as Alistair Horne argues in his new preface to his now-classic work of history—its repercussions continue to be felt not only in Algeria and France, but throughout the world. Indeed from today’s vantage point the Algerian War looks like a full-dress rehearsal for the sort of amorphous struggle that convulsed the Balkans in the 1990s and that now ravages the Middle East, from Beirut to Baghdad—struggles in which questions of religion, nationalism, imperialism, and terrorism take on a new and increasingly lethal intensity.A Savage War of Peace is the definitive history of the Algerian War, a book that brings that terrible and complicated struggle to life with intelligence, assurance, and unflagging momentum. It is essential reading for our own violent times as well as a lasting monument to the historian’s art.' Paperback. To-Read

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, Richard Hofstadter, Weebcentral Library. 'A book which throws light on many features of the American character. Its concern is not merely to portray the scorners of intellect in American life, but to say something about what the intellectual is, and can be, as a force in a democratic society.' Kindle. To-Read A gift from my brother-in-law, Scottie.

The Signal And The Noise, Nate Silver, Weebcentral Library. 'Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair's breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger. Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction.' Kindle. To-Read A gift from my wife, Cindy.

Nick the Saint, Anthony Szpak, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read A birthday gift from my Benn and Jenn.

Logicomix: An Epic Search For Truth, Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos Papadimitriou, Clackamas County Library. 'An innovative, dramatic graphic novel about the treacherous pursuit of the foundations of mathematics. This exceptional graphic novel recounts the spiritual odyssey of philosopher Bertrand Russell. In his agonized search for absolute truth, Russell crosses paths with legendary thinkers like Gottlob Frege, David Hilbert, and Kurt Godel, and finds a passionate student in the great Ludwig Wittgenstein. But his most ambitious goal--to establish unshakable logical foundations of mathematics--continues to loom before him. Through love and hate, peace and war, Russell persists in the dogged mission that threatens to claim both his career and his personal happiness, finally driving him to the brink of insanity. This story is at the same time a historical novel and an accessible explication of some of the biggest ideas of mathematics and modern philosophy. With rich characterizations and expressive, atmospheric artwork, the book spins the pursuit of these ideas into a highly satisfying tale. Probing and ingeniously layered, the book throws light on Russell's inner struggles while setting them in the context of the timeless questions he spent his life trying to answer. At its heart, 'Logicomix 'is a story about the conflict between an ideal rationality and the unchanging, flawed fabric of reality.Apostolos Doxiadis studied mathematics at Columbia University. His international bestseller 'Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture' spearheaded the impressive entrance of mathematics into the world of storytelling. Apart from his work in fiction, Apostolos has also worked in film and theater and is an internationally recognized expert on the relationship of mathematics to narrative. Christos H. Papadimitriou is C . Lester Hogan professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. He was won numerous international awards for his pioneering work in computational complexity and algorithmic game theory. Christos is the author of the novel 'Turing: A Novel about Compu' Paperback. To-Read Recommended by Jean-Moo

Burning the days, James Salter, Clackamas County Library. Autobiography of James Salter. Recommended by Rich Cohen, in the Jewish Review of Books. Kindle. To-Read

Slavery by Another Name, Douglas A. Blackmon, Multnomah County Library. In this groundbreaking historical exposé, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history—an “Age of Neoslavery” that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II. Kindle. To-Read

Life, animated, Ron Suskind, Weebcentral Library. ''Imagine being trapped inside a Disney movie and having to learn about life mostly from animated characters dancing across a screen of color. A fantasy? A nightmare? This is the real-life story of Owen Suskind, the son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind and his wife, Cornelia. An autistic boy who couldn't speak for years, Owen memorized dozens of Disney movies, turned them into a language to express love and loss, kinship, brotherhood. The family was forced to become animated characters, communicating with him in Disney dialogue and song; until they all emerge, together, revealing how, in darkness, we all literally need stories to survive'--' Kindle. To-Read

Suspended in Language, Jim Ottaviani, Jay Holser, Steve Leialoha, Linda Medley, Jeff Parker, Clackamas County Library. 'Einstein looked up to him, the Nazis tried to abduct him, his institute in Copenhagen hosted just about every Nobel prize winner in physics you can name (and then some), and Winston Churchill considered him a dangerous, dangerous man. His friends and enemies agreed: Niels Bohr was more than the father of quantum mechanics - he was one of the most important figures of the 20th century. The Tony Award-winning Broadway play 'Copenhagen' barely scratched the surface... Suspended in Language tells the complete story of Niels Bohr's amazing life, discoveries, and his pervasive influence on science, philosophy, and politics. Told in an engaging and accessible mixture of text and comics, it includes a full color supplement on how to teleport just like the pros do-and why you might not want to!' Paperback. To-Read

The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker, Clackamas County Library. 'One of the most quotable of twentieth-century authors, Dorothy Parker has attained a wide-ranging and enthusiastic following. This revised and enlarged edition, with an introduction by Brendan Gill, comprises the original 1944 Portable, as selected and arranged by Dorothy Parker herself and including all her most celebrated poems and stories, along with a selection of her later stories, play reviews, articles, book reviews from Esquire, and the complete Constant Reader, her collected New Yorker book reviews.ldquo;To say that Mrs. Parker writes well is as fatuous, I am afraid, as proclaiming that Cellini was clever with his hands. ... Mrs. Parker has an eye for people, an ear for language, and a feeling for the lithe things of life that are so immense a part of the process of living.rdquo; - Ogden Nashldquo;She has put into what she has written a voice, a state of mind, an era, a few moments of human experience that nobody else has conveyed.rdquo; - Edmund Wilson' Hardcover. To-Read

The Story of Art (Gombrich, Ernst Hans Josef//Story of Art), E.H. Gombrich, Clackamas County Library. 'An illustrated introduction to art appreciation with a survey of the major art periods and styles and descriptions of the work and world of the masters' Hardcover. To-Read

Between Friends, Amos Oz, Clackamas County Library. Paperback. To-Read

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Oliver Sacks, Weebcentral Library. 'Music can move us to the heights or depths of emotion. It can persuade us to buy something, or remind us of our first date. It can lift us out of depression when nothing else can. It can get us dancing to its beat. But the power of music goes much, much further. Indeed, music occupies more areas of our brain than language does--humans are a musical species. Oliver Sacks's compassionate, compelling tales of people struggling to adapt to different neurological conditions have fundamentally changed the way we think of our own brains, and of the human experience. Here, he examines the powers of music through the individual experiences of patients, musicians, and everyday people. Music is irresistible, haunting, and unforgettable, and Oliver Sacks tells us why.--From publisher description.' Hardcover. To-Read

Capital In The Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty, Weebcentral Library. This essay is in some ways representative of the best of Andrew Sullivan, a Oxford-educated conservative Brit who has become a US citizen. He explicates what I consider his admirable moderation in the face of virulent U.S. partisan politics. Moderation provides room for working political solutions. Kindle. To-Read

What's the Matter with White People?, Joan Walsh, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read

Thomas Paine and the Promise of America, Harvey J. Kaye, Weebcentral Library. 'Thomas Paine was one of the most remarkable political writers of the modern world and the greatest radical of a radical age. Through writings like Common Sense—and words such as “The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth,“ “We have it in our power to begin the world over again,” and “These are the times that try men’s souls”—he not only turned America’s colonial rebellion into a revolutionary war but, as Harvey J. Kaye demonstrates, articulated an American identity charged with exceptional purpose and promise.' Kindle. To-Read A gift from my wife, Cindy.

The Complete Black Book of Russian Jewry, Ilya Ehrenburg, Vasily Grossman, Irving Horowitz, David Patterson, Weebcentral Library. Paperback. To-Read

Galileo's Commandment, Edmund Blair Bolles, Multnomah County Library. 'Bolles has scoured the literature of science to build a treasury that is accessible and riveting, and therefore appealing to readers unfamiliar with science, yet erudite enough for the scientifically initiated to enjoy.' Paperback. To-Read A gift from my parents and my sister Ruth, Christmas 2013.

The Russländer, Birdsell Sandra, Weebcentral Library. 'Katherine (Katya) Vogt is now an old woman living in Winnipeg, but the story of how she and her family came to Canada begins in Russia in 1910, on a wealthy Mennonite estate. Here they lived in a world bounded by the prosperity of their landlords and by the poverty and disgruntlement of the Russian workers who toil on the estate. But in the wake of the First World War, the tensions engulfing the country begin to intrude on the community, leading to an unspeakable act of violence. In the aftermath of that violence, and in the difficult years that follow, Katya tries to come to terms with the terrible events that befell her and her family. In lucid, spellbinding prose, Birdsell vividly evokes time and place, and the unease that existed in a county on the brink of revolutionary change.The Russländeris a powerful and moving story of ordinary people who lived through extraordinary times.' Hardcover. To-Read

How To Teach Relativity To Your Dog, Chad Orzel, Multnomah County Library. ProQuest eBook. To-Read

Summing Up, W. Somerset Maugham, Weebcentral Library. 'Autobiographical and confessional, and yet not, this is one of the most highly regarded expressions of a personal credo – both a classic avowal of an author's ideas and his craft.' Paperback. To-Read Inherited from my father-in-law Burt

All For Nothing, Walter Kempowski, Multnomah County Library. 'A wealthy family tries--and fails--to seal themselves off from the chaos of post-World War II life surrounding them in this stunning novel by one of Germany's most important post-war writers.In East Prussia, January 1945, the German forces are in retreat and the Red Army is approaching. The von Globig family's manor house, the Georgenhof, is falling into disrepair. Auntie runs the estate as best she can since Eberhard von Globig, a special officer in the German army, went to war, leaving behind his beautiful but vague wife, Katharina, and her bookish twelve-year-old son, Peter. As the road fills with Germans fleeing the occupied territories, the Georgenhof begins to receive strange visitors--a Nazi violinist, a dissident painter, a Baltic baron, even a Jewish refugee. Yet in the main, life continues as banal, wondrous, and complicit as ever for the family, until their caution, their hedged bets, and their denial are answered by the wholly expected events they haven't allowed themselves to imagine.All for Nothing, published in 2006, was the last novel by Walter Kempowski, one of postwar Germany's most acclaimed and popular writers.' Kindle. To-Read

The 13th Valley, John M. Del Vecchio, LA Public Library. Kindle. To-Read

The Left Hand Of The Electron, Isaac Asimov, Multnomah County Library. Hardcover. To-Read

Razor's Edge, Somerset Maugham, Multnomah County Library. 'Larry Darrell Is A Young American In Search Of The Absolute. The Progress Of This Spiritual Odyssey Involves Him With Some Of Maugham'S Most Brillant Characters - His Fiancee Isabel, Whose Choice Between Love And Wealth Have Lifelong Repercussions, And Elliot Templeton, Her Uncle, A Classic Expatriate American Snob. The Most Ambitious Of Maugham'S Novels, This Is Also One In Which Maugham Himself Plays A Considerable Part As He Wanders In And Out Of The Story, To Observe His Characters Struggling With Their Fates.' Kindle. To-Read

Galileo Goes To Jail, Ronald L. Numbers, Multnomah County Library. 'If we want nonscientists and opinion-makers in the press, the lab, and the pulpit to take a fresh look at the relationship between science and religion, Ronald Numbers suggests that we must first dispense with the hoary myths that have masqueraded too long as historical truths. Until about the 1970s, the dominant narrative in the history of science had long been that of science triumphant, and science at war with religion. But a new generation of historians both of science and of the church began to examine episodes in the history of science and religion through the values and knowledge of the actors themselves. Now Ronald Numbers has recruited the leading scholars in this new history of science to ­puncture the myths, from Galileo’s incarceration to Darwin’s deathbed conversion to Einstein’s belief in a personal God who “didn’t play dice with the universe.” The picture of science and religion at each other’s throats persists in mainstream media and scholarly journals, but each chapter in Galileo Goes to Jail shows how much we have to gain by seeing beyond the myths.' Hardcover. To-Read

The Perfectionists, Simon Winchester, Multnomah County Library. Kindle. To-Read

Fascism: A Warning, Madeleine Albright, Multnomah County Library. Kindle. To-Read

Gulag Voices, Anne Applebaum, Multnomah County Library. ProQuest eBook. To-Read

Thunder In The Mountains, Daniel J. Sharfstein, Multnomah County Library. 'Gives a detailed story of the plight of the Nez Perce Indians hold onto their homeland. Chief Joseph was an astute negotiator who understood politics and some of the legal system of government. General Oliver Otis Howard was given command of the Dept. of the Columbia in the northwest and had the task of getting the tribe onto a reservation. Most unfortunately a few warriors sought vengeance one night for the unjust murder of a tribe member, which immediately escalated into a war. Joseph was not a war chief so he had little influence during hostilities, but when the war ended he never stopped advocating for his people's rights and their former land for the rest of his life.' Kindle. To-Read

The Soul Of America, Meacham Jon, Multnomah County Library. ''Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear. Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the 'better angels of our nature' have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of presidents including, besides Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as Martin Luther King, Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Klu Klux Klan in the 1920s; the fight for women's rights; the demagoguery of Huey Long and Father Coughlin and the isolationist work of America First in the years before World War II; the anti-Communist witch-hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy; and Lyndon Johnson's crusade to finish the fight against Jim Crow. In each of these dramatic, crucial turning points, the battle to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear, was joined, even as it is today. While the American story has not always been heroic, and the outcome of our battles never certain, in this inspiring book Meacham reassures us,'the good news is that we have come through darkness before'--as, time and again, Lincoln's better angels have found a way to prevail. Advance praise for The Soul of America 'This is a brilliant, fascinating, timely, and above all profoundly important book. Jon Mea' Kindle. To-Read

American Gospel, Jon Meacham, LA Public Library. 'The American Gospel–literally, the good news about America–is that religion shapes our public life without controlling it. In this vivid book, New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham tells the human story of how the Founding Fathers viewed faith, and how they ultimately created a nation in which belief in God is a matter of choice.At a time when our country seems divided by extremism, American Gospel draws on the past to offer a new perspective. Meacham re-creates the fascinating history of a nation grappling with religion and politics–from John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” sermon to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence; from the Revolution to the Civil War; from a proposed nineteenth-century Christian Amendment to the Constitution to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for civil rights; from George Washington to Ronald Reagan.Debates about religion and politics are often more divisive than illuminating. Secularists point to a “wall of separation between church and state,” while many conservatives act as though the Founding Fathers were apostles in knee britches. As Meacham shows in this brisk narrative, neither extreme has it right. At the heart of the American experiment lies the God of what Benjamin Franklin called “public religion,” a God who invests all human beings with inalienable rights while protecting private religion from government interference. It is a great American balancing act, and it has served us well.Meacham has written and spoken extensively about religion and politics, and he brings historical authority and a sense of hope to the issue. American Gospel makes it compellingly clear that the nation’s best chance of summoning what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” lies in recovering the spirit and sense of the Founding. In looking back, we may find the light to lead us forward.“In his American Gospel, Jon Meacham provides a refre' Kindle. To-Read

Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison, Multnomah County Library. 'An African-American man's search for success and the American dream leads him out of college to Harlem and a growing sense of personal rejection and social invisibility, in a new anniversary edition of the monumental, award-winning novel. Reissue. 10,000 first printing.' Kindle. To-Read

A Change Of Climate, Hilary Mantel, Multnomah County Library. 'Ralph and Anna Eldred are an exemplary couple, devoting themselves to doing good. Thirty years ago as missionaries in Africa, the worst that could happen did. Shattered by their encounter with inexplicable evil, they returned to England, never to speak of it again. But when Ralph falls into an affair, Anna finds no forgiveness in her heart, and thirty years of repressed rage and grief explode, destroying not only a marriage but also their love, their faith, and everything they thought they were.' Kindle. To-Read

Quantum Field Theory For The Gifted Amateur, Tom Lancaster, Multnomah County Library. 'Quantum field theory is arguably the most far-reaching and beautiful physical theory ever constructed, with aspects more stringently tested and verified to greater precision than any other theory in physics. Unfortunately, the subject has gained a notorious reputation for difficulty, with forbidding looking mathematics and a peculiar diagrammatic language described in an array of unforgiving, weighty textbooks aimed firmly at aspiring professionals. However, quantum field theory is too important, too beautiful, and too engaging to be restricted to the professionals. This book on quantum field theory is designed to be different. It is written by experimental physicists and aims to provide the interested amateur with a bridge from undergraduate physics to quantum field theory. The imagined reader is a gifted amateur, possessing a curious and adaptable mind, looking to be told an entertaining and intellectually stimulating story, but who will not feel patronised if a few mathematical niceties are spelled out in detail. Using numerous worked examples, diagrams, and careful physically motivated explanations, this book will smooth the path towards understanding the radically different and revolutionary view of the physical world that quantum field theory provides, and which all physicists should have the opportunity to experience.' Paperback. To-Read

The Portable Hannah Arendt (Penguin Classics), Hannah Arendt, Multnomah County Library. 'Although Hannah Arendt is considered one of the major contributors to social and political thought in the twentieth century, this is the first general anthology of her writings. This volume includes selections from her major works, including The Origins of Totalitarianism, Between Past and Future, Men in Dark Times, The Jew as Pariah, and The Human Condition, as well as many shorter writings and letters. Sections include extracts from her work on fascism, Marxism, and totalitarianism; her treatment of work and labor; her writings on politics and ethics; and a section on truth and the role of the intellectual. Edited by Peter Baehr.' Paperback. To-Read

The Origins Of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt, Multnomah County Library. 'Generally regarded as the definitive work on totalitarianism, this book is an essential component of any study of twentieth-century political movements. Arendt was one of the first to recognize that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were two sides of the same coin rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. “With the Origins of Totalitarianism Hannah Arendt emerges as the most original and profound-therefore the most valuable-political theoretician of our times” (New Leader). Index.' Kindle. To-Read

The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Multnomah County Library. An oncologist describes the history and the progress made in fighting cancer. Kindle. To-Read

The Circle, Dave Eggers, Weebcentral Library. ''The Circle is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, best-selling author of A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award. When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can't believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world--even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman's ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge'--' Hardcover. To-Read A gift from my parents and my sister Ruth, Christmas 2013.

Prairie Fire, Dan Armstrong, Weebcentral Library. Paperback. To-Read

Ulysses, James Joyce, Weebcentral Library. 'James Joyce adapted the structure of one of history's oldest and most familiar stories to his tale of Leopold Bloom's one-day odyssey through Dublin to produce a landmark in 20th-century literature. Evoking in rich, sensory details the streets, pubs, brothels, and shops of Dublin, focusing on seemingly insignificant detail, 'Ulysses' is a triumphant celebration of an ordinary man. The title alludes to Odysseus (Latinised into Ulysses), the hero of Homer's Odyssey, and establishes a series of parallels between characters and events in Homer's poem and Joyce's novel. ------------ This volume follows the complete unabridged text as corrected in 1961. Contains the original foreword by the author and the historic court ruling to remove the federal ban. It also contains page references to the first American edition of 1934.' Paperback. To-Read

Sweeter Than All The World, Rudy Wiebe, Weebcentral Library. 'Rudy Wiebe’s latest novel is at once an enthralling saga of the Mennonite people and one man’s emotional voyage into his heritage and his own self-discovery. Ambitious in its historical sweep, tender and humane, Sweeter Than All the World takes us on an extraordinary odyssey never before fully related in a contemporary novel.The novel tells the story of the Mennonite people from the early days of persecution in sixteenth-century Netherlands, and follows their emigration to Danzig, London, Russia, and the Americas, through the horrors of World War II, to settlement in Paraguay and Canada. It is told episodically in a double-stranded narrative. The first strand consists of different voices of historical figures. The other narrative voice is that of Adam Wiebe, born in Saskatchewan in 1935, whom we encounter at telling stages of his life: as a small boy playing in the bush, as a student hunting caribou a week before his wedding, and as a middle-aged man carefully negotiating a temporary separation from his wife. As Adam faces the collapse of his marriage and the disappearance of his daughter, he becomes obsessed with understanding his ancestral past. Wiebe meshes the history of a people with the story of a modern family, laying bare the complexities of desire and family love, religious faith and human frailty.The past comes brilliantly alive, beginning with the horrors of the Reformation, when Weynken Claes Wybe is burned at the stake for heretical views on Communion. We are caught up in the great events of each century, as we follow in the footsteps of Adam’s forebears: the genius engineer who invented the cable-car system; the artist Enoch Seeman, who found acclamation at the royal court in London after having been forbidden to paint by the Elders; Anna, who endures the great wagon trek across the Volga in 1860, leaving behind her hopes of marriage so that her brothers will escape conscription in the Prussian army; and Elizabeth Katerina, caught in ' Paperback. To-Read

Lincoln In The Bardo, George Saunders, Weebcentral Library. 'February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul. Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?' Hardcover. To-Read A gift from the Wiebe family, Christmas 2017

Proof of Heaven, Eben Alexander, Weebcentral Library. ''A SCIENTIST'S CASE FOR THE AFTERLIFE Near-death experiences, or NDEs, are controversial. Thousands of people have had them, but many in the scientific community have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those people. A highly trained neurosurgeon who had operated on thousands of brains in the course of his career, Alexander knew that what people of faith call the 'soul' is really a product of brain chemistry. NDEs, he would have been the first to explain, might feel real to the people having them, but in truth they are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress. Then came the day when Dr. Alexander's own brain was attacked by an extremely rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion--and in essence makes us human-- shut down completely. For seven days Alexander lay in a hospital bed in a deep coma. Then, as his doctors weighed the possibility of stopping treatment, Alexander's eyes popped open. He had come back. Alexander's recovery is by all accounts a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself. This story sounds like the wild and wonderful imaginings of a skilled fantasy writer. But it is not fantasy. Before Alexander underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. That difficulty with belief created an empty space that no professional triumph could erase. Today he is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition. This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scie' Paperback. To-Read Recommended by my wife Cindy.

Who Is Fourier?: A Mathematical Adventure, Transnational College of Lex Tokyo, Amazon Wish List. Paperback. To-Read Recommended by my nephew, Jean-Mi.

Lukács and Brecht, David Pike, Weebcentral Library. Found in the bibliography of Applebaum's book Iron Curtain. David is an old friend from my youth, so I am curious to read deeper than I ordinarily would on this subject. Hardcover. To-Read

Kindred, Octavia Butler, Multnomah County Library. Kindle. To-Read

Native Son, Richard Wright, Multnomah County Library. 'Richard Wright's powerful and bestselling masterpiece reflects the poverty and hopelessness of life in the inner city and what it means to be black in America.' Kindle. To-Read

What Is The What, Dave Eggers, Weebcentral Library. ''What is the What is the story of Valentino Achak Deng, a refuge of the Sudanese civil war. Fleeing from his village in the mid-1980s, Deng becomes one of the so-called Lost Boys - children pursued by militias, government soldiers, lions and hyenas and myriad diseases, in their search for sanctuary, first in Ethiopia and then Kenya. Eventually Deng is resettled in the United States with almost 4,000 other young Sudanese men, and a very different struggle begins.'--BOOK JACKET.' Paperback. To-Read A gift from my parents and my sister Ruth, Christmas 2013.

On politics, Ryan Alan, Clackamas County Library. Hardcover. To-Read

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Dover Value Editions), Max Weber, Talcott Parsons, R.H. Tawney, UVa. 'This brilliant study opposes the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism and its view that change takes place through the conflict of opposites. Instead, Weber relates the rise of a capitalist economy to the Puritan determination to work out anxiety over salvation or damnation by performing good deeds — an effort that ultimately encouraged capitalism.' eBook. To-Read

The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason, Charles Freeman, Multnomah County Library. 'A radical and powerful reappraisal of the impact of Constantine’s adoption of Christianity on the later Roman world, and on the subsequent development both of Christianity and of Western civilization.When the Emperor Contstantine converted to Christianity in 368 AD, he changed the course of European history in ways that continue to have repercussions to the present day. Adopting those aspects of the religion that suited his purposes, he turned Rome on a course from the relatively open, tolerant and pluralistic civilization of the Hellenistic world, towards a culture that was based on the rule of fixed authority, whether that of the Bible, or the writings of Ptolemy in astronomy and of Galen and Hippocrates in medicine. Only a thousand years later, with the advent of the Renaissance and the emergence of modern science, did Europe begin to free itself from the effects of Constantine's decision, yet the effects of his establishment of Christianity as a state religion remain with us, in many respects, today. Brilliantly wide-ranging and ambitious, this is a major work of history.' Kindle. To-Read

You Shall Know Our Velocity, Dave Eggers, Weebcentral Library. 'In his first novel, Dave Eggers has written a moving and hilarious tale of two friends who fly around the world trying to give away a lot of money and free themselves from a profound loss. It reminds us once again what an important, necessary talent Dave Eggers is.' Paperback. To-Read A gift from my parents and my sister Ruth, Christmas 2013.

The politics of culture in Soviet-occupied Germany, 1945-1949, David Pike, Weebcentral Library. Found in the bibliography of Applebaum's book Iron Curtain. David is an old friend from my youth, so I am curious to read deeper than I ordinarily would on this subject. Hardcover. To-Read

The Big Picture, Sean Carroll, Weebcentral Library. How do we gain knowledge from the world? The physicist Sean Carroll examines the big ideas in science, and to a lesser degree, some outside of science, and probes the structure of the knowledge we have built up in pursuing those ideas. Kindle. Partially-Read 2018-04-17.

Nature and the Greeks, and, Science and humanism, Erwin Schrödinger, Weebcentral Library. Schrodinger was one of the great physicists of the 20th century. His wave equation transformed quantum mechanics. He has proven a thoughtful historian and philosopher of science. Nature and the Greeks offers a historical account of the twentieth-century scientific world picture, tracing modern science back to the earliest stages of Western philosophic thought. Science and Humanism addresses some of the most fundamental questions of the century: what is the value of scientific research? And how do the achievements of modern science affect the relationship between material and spiritual matters? Kindle. Partially-Read 2017-12-13.

A.D. 381, Charles Freeman, LA Public Library. 'A provoking and timely examination of one of the most important times in Church history. In AD 381, Theodosius, emperor of the eastern Roman empire, issued a decree in which all his subjects were required to subscribe to a belief in the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This edict defined Christian orthodoxy and brought to an end a lively and wide-ranging debate about the nature of God; all other interpretations were now declared heretical. It was the first time in a thousand years of Greco-Roman civilization free thought was unambiguously suppressed. Yet surprisingly, the popular histories claim that the Christian Church reached a consensus on the Trinity at the Council of Constantinople in AD 381. Why has Theodosius's revolution been airbrushed from the historical record? In this groundbreaking new book, acclaimed historian Charles Freeman shows that the council was in fact a sham, only taking place after Theodosius's decree had become law. The Church was acquiescing in the overwhelming power of the emperor. Freeman argues that Theodosius's edict and the subsequent suppression of paganism not only brought an end to the diversity of religious and philosophical beliefs throughout the empire, but created numerous theological problems for the Church, which have remained unsolved. The year AD 381, as Freeman puts it, was 'a turning point which time forgot.'' Kindle. Partially-Read 2017-10-14.

Beloved, Toni Morrison, LA Public Library. 'Proud and beautiful, Sethe escaped from slavery but is haunted by its heritage--from the fires of the flesh to the heartbreaking challenges to the spirit. Set in rural Ohio several years after the Civil War, this profoundly affecting chronicle of slavery and its aftermath is Toni Morrison's greatest work. Unabridged.' Paperback. Partially-Read 2017-10-13. The Great American Read.

The Common Sense of Science, J. Bronowski, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. Partially-Read 2017-04-17.

The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance, Anthony Gottlieb, Weebcentral Library. 'Already a classic in its first year of publication, this landmark study of Western thought takes a fresh look at the writings of the great thinkers of classic philosophy and questions many pieces of conventional wisdom. The book invites comparison with Bertrand Russell's monumental History of Western Philosophy, 'but Gottlieb's book is less idiosyncratic and based on more recent scholarship' (Colin McGinn, Los Angeles Times). ' Kindle. Partially-Read 2017-04-13.

The Joy of Reading, Charles Van Doren, Weebcentral Library. I have been slowly reading this book by Van Doren, one of the acolytes of Chicago's Mortimer Adler, who along with Robert Hutchins built the Great Books program at the University of Chicago, which some think over-emphasize 'great' literature of the past while replacing needed practical education. The Joy of Reading introduces some of the books on or associated with the Great Books list, and is fascinating reading. Van Doren summarizes each book, describing how to read it to get the most from it. He is clearly enraptured by these books, and his joy is infectious. I have been sampling portions of the books that he has seeded some interest. Kindle. Partially-Read 2016-10-11.

America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, Jim Wallis, Multnomah County Library. Jim Wallis is a progressive Christian writer, and has held my interest for many years. He is a welcome diversion from the hard-hearted right wing Christian fundamentalists that seem to dominate Republican politics. Here Wallis, a veteran of the Civil Rights movement, examines the problem of racism in America, past and present. In particular, he asks what the appropriate Christian attitudes should be towards racial justice. Kindle. Partially-Read 2016-07-04.

Relativity Simply Explained, Martin Gardner, Weebcentral Library. Martin Gardner is among my favorite writers, in part because he has a facility for explaining mathematics and science. He has done a creditable job here describing Einstein's works, both special and general relativity. Kindle. Partially-Read 2016-07-02.

Bloodlands, Timothy Snyder, Weebcentral Library. 'Americans call the Second World War “The Good War.” But before it even began, America’s wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens—and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war’s end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness.Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.' Kindle. Partially-Read 2014-09-24.

Year zero, Ian Buruma, LA Public Library. 'In 1945, one world had ended and a new, uncertain one was beginning. Regime change had come on a global scale, great cities around the world lay in ruins, and the ground was laid for more horror to come. In YEAR ZERO, an examination of the postwar years is intertwined with author Ian Buruma's father's attempted reentry into “normalcy” after his experience as a prisoner of war.' Kindle. Partially-Read 2014-08-20.

The Enlightenment, Anthony Pagden, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. Partially-Read 2013-11-15. A gift from my son Jon, on the occasion of Father's Day 2013.

Why Evolution Is True, Jerry A. Coyne, Weebcentral Library. This book has been hailed by some as a clear-eyed exposition of modern evolutionary biology. I found it strong on the science, and disappointingly weak on the intellectual discipline. Paperback. Partially-Read 2013-05-15.

The Other Slavery, Andrés Reséndez, Multnomah County Library. ''Long-awaited and important . . . No other book before has so thoroughly related the broad history of Indian slavery in the Americas.'--San Francisco Chronicle 'A necessary work . . . [Res�ndez's] reportage will likely surprise you.'--NPR 'One of the most profound contributions to North American history.'--Los Angeles Times Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet, as Andr�s Res�ndez illuminates in his myth-shattering The Other Slavery, it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of Natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors. Res�ndez builds the incisive case that it was mass slavery--more than epidemics--that decimated Indian populations across North America. Through riveting new evidence, including testimonies of courageous priests, rapacious merchants, and Indian captives, The Other Slavery reveals nothing less than a key missing piece of American history. For over two centuries we have fought over, abolished, and tried to come to grips with African American slavery. It is time for the West to confront an entirely separate, equally devastating enslavement we have long failed truly to see. 'Beautifully written . . . A tour de force.'--Chronicle of Higher Education  ' Kindle. To-Read

Speer: Hitler's Architect, Martin Kitchen, Multnomah County Library. ''In his best-selling autobiography, Albert Speer, Minister of Armaments and chief architect of Nazi Germany, repeatedly insisted he knew nothing of the genocidal crimes of Hitler's Third Reich. In this revealing new biography, author Martin Kitchen disputes Speer's lifelong assertions of ignorance and innocence, portraying a far darker figure who was deeply implicated in the appalling crimes committed by the regime he served so well. Kitchen reconstructs Speer's life with what we now know, including information from valuable new sources that have come to light only in recent years, challenging the portrait presented by earlier biographers and by Speer himself of a cultured technocrat devoted to his country while completely uninvolved in Nazi politics and crimes. The result is the first truly serious accounting of the man, his beliefs, and his actions during one of the darkest epochs in modern history, not only countering Speer's claims of non-culpability but also disputing the commonly held misconception that it was his unique genius alone that kept the German military armed and fighting long after its defeat was inevitable'--' Hardcover. To-Read

The Soul And Barbed Wire, Edward E. Ericson Jr., Alexis Klimoff, Amazon Wish List. Paperback. To-Read

The Heart Of A Woman, Maya Angelou, Weebcentral Library. 'This engaging book chronicles the changes in Maya Angelou's life as she enters the hub of activity that is New York.  There, at the Harlem Writers Guild, sherededicates herself to writing, and finds love at an unexpected moment. Reflecting on her many roles--from northern coordinator of Martin Luther King's history-making quest to mother of a rebellious teenage son--Angelou eloquently speaks to an awareness of the heart within us all.' Paperback. To-Read

A History of Germany, Bayard Taylor, Weebcentral Library. 'Mr. Taylor was exceptionally Well equipped for writing a popular history of Germany. At the time when he wrote (1873) he had already been many years in Germany occupied in his well known studies of Goethe; he had married a German lady, had traveled widely, and Shared in that German enthusiasm which ac companied the foundation of the German Empire. He made use in his history of the best results of the German historical scholarship of his day. But in the generation which has passed scientific historical research has brought to light a mine of new material; the economic historians have taught us to lay a new emphasis on that side of historical development; and time has brought more just judgments in regard to disputed religious questions. It has been the aim of the editor to preserve as nearly as possible the original text, and yet bring it completely into line with the best modern scholarship. The necessary changes were so numerous and so varied in character that for the sake of smoothness in the narrative it has seemed better to incorporate all changes directly in the text rather than distract the reader's attention with innumerable footnotes. The responsibility for the last chapter rests wholly with the editor; in brief space he has attempted to sum up the leading features in the development of Germany in the last thirty years.' Kindle. Partially-Read 2017-09-13.

Phage And The Origins Of Molecular Biology, The Centennial Edition, Cairns, Amazon Wish List. 'This hugely influential book, published in 1966 as a 60th birthday tribute to Max Delbruck, is now republished as The Centennial Edition. In addition to the landmark collection of 35 essays by pioneers of molecular biology, this edition contains an additional essay by Sydney Brenner, one of the few influential molecular biologists of the time not to contribute to the original book. The essay contains material prepared for the original edition, but not submitted at the time, and a newly written view of the phage group seen from the perspective of someone close to, but not an intimate member of, that famous school. This new edition also retains material added to the expanded 1992 edition, including Gunther Stent's obituary of Max Delbruck, two commentaries on issues raised in the book reprinted from Scientific American and Science, and the preface in which John Cairns reflects on the book's creation and molecular biology's ?age of innocence.? On first publication, the book was hailed as ?[introducing] into the literature of science, for the first time, a self-conscious historical element in which the participants in scientific discovery engage in writing their own chronicle. As such, it is an important document in the history of biology...? (Journal of History of Biology). And in another review it was described as ?required reading for every student of experimental biology... [who] will sense the smell and rattle of the laboratory? (Bioscience). The book was a formative influence on many of today's leading scientists.' Hardcover. To-Read

Exploring Quantum Physics Through Hands-On Projects, David Prutchi, Multnomah County Library. ProQuest eBook. To-Read